Oliver Cromwell:
400th Anniversary

25th April 1999

Oliver Cromwell was born on the 25th April 1599 in Huntingdon. The Anniversary was commemorated by the Cromwell Quatercentenary Committee, with much input from Huntingdonshire District Council. The commemorations are nothing to do with The Huntingdonshire Society but were glad to help promote it.

The memory of Cromwell has been controversial ever since his death in 1658. He has been argued over probably more than any other commoner. The 400th anniversary provides an opportunity to highlight this Huntingdonshire man's extraordinary significance.


The big day, Sunday 25th April, came and went. That was the actual 400th anniversary of the Lord Protector's birth. It was quite a day in Huntingdon. I haven't seen before so many muskets, pikes, jerkins and general seventeenth century clothing, all together with the bits and pieces of everyday life. The Sealed Knot put on a masterpiece. To those who were not there, I can only say you missed out on a very good day. In all of that The Huntingdonshire Society's little stall in the Commemoration Hall was a tiny contribution but I hope a valuable one for those who came to see us.


There was a great range of performances, lectures, exhibitions and events throughout Hunts and in Cambridge too. It's a pity the national press completely missed all the goings-on, but then it did not happen in London... Still, as we are looking forward to running through it all again in April 2003, will Hunts hit the nation press then? The Society will do what it can to make them sit up and watch, as ever.

Cromwell remains a figure as hated by many as he is idolised by some. Still, the same can be said of Napoleon, and one can only, in honesty, greatly admire that loathsome man. Perhaps the same is best said of Oliver Cromwell too. As ever, mine is an individual opinion and no two people will agree on it.

At this point you might like to look at our Huntingdonshire Day page too.


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